Tuesday, June 03, 2014

The London of Sebastian St. Cyr: Tattersall's

Located near Hyde Park Corner, Tattersall's was a popular fixture during the Regency period. Not only was it the foremost auctioneer of expensive horseflesh, but its subscription rooms were a fashionable gathering spot for sporting men--a place where gentlemen could meet and drink and lay their bets. (Hence the threat of "settling day at Tattersall's.")

Originally founded in the mid-eighteenth century by Richard Tattersall, a former groom to the Duke of Kingston, it contained stables, two subscription rooms, a counting house, covered galleries, a courtyard with its iconic temple-covered pump, and kennels. The kennels were necessary because in addition to horses and carriages, Tattersall's also sold hounds.

Later, in the Victorian era, the establishment was forced to move to Knightsbridge, and then relocated again to Newmarket. It also dropped the apostrophe from its name. But it still exists, and is still considered the leader in its field.

Because Tattersall's was such a fashionable lounging spot, Sebastian has been known to confront suspects in its famous courtyard. One such scene takes place in What Darkness Brings. But he'll no doubt be back again in the future....

24 comments:

Sue said...

Is Tattersall stripe derived from Tattersall's?

Anonymous said...

c - you just answered a question I've had - is the place still around. i have wondered about that.
sounds like a very cool place - and i can see why men of Sebastian's stature would want be drawn to hit. horseflesh was king.

cs harris said...

Sue, according to Wiki, Tattersall's sold horse blankets with this stripe.

Anon, yes, horses and betting.

paz said...

Was Tattersall's off limit to women during the Regency? I keep thinking I read a scene at Tattersalls involving a woman, but I can't recall the book.

cs harris said...

Paz, yes, it was gentlemen only, which made it hard for a lady who wanted to buy a good horse. She had to trust a male relative to go there and do it for her.

JustWingingIt said...

Thanks for the information and, especially, the illustrations. I'm more of a visual person so having these really helps me. I picked up When Maidens Mourn yestreday solely to look for a certain passage and I ended up re-reading the whole thing. I may as well keep going. :)

Veronica

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the pics. I'm getting pretty excited as we leave for Europe in about 3 weeks. Going to try and swing by Brook Street and have tea at Claridge's at 49 Brook St(close to where Sebastian and Hero's house would have been). I'm hoping to squeeze it in. I know it is also close to Hyde Park. I'm so excited. We're staying off Portman Square. Sabena

cs harris said...

Veronica, I'm very visual, too. I have a ton of these prints that I refer to constantly.

Sabena, have a wonderful time. And do take a picture if you get the chance!

Suzanne said...

Big news!! What Darkness Brings and Why Kings Confess have become available in kindle in Australia this week. Prior to that only When Maidens Mourn was available. The last Knight has also come out in kindle. It must be a good sign that your books are becoming more popular here. Well done!!

Susan J. said...

I looked up Tattersalls in Jennifer Kloester's 'Georgette Heyer's World' and she says that Heyer mentions it in 'A Civil Contract' and 'The Tollgate'. I think it must appear in many more of her books also. It seems that one had to be as wary buying a horse at that time, as in buying a second hand car these days! A dodgy dealer in horses then, must have been the equivalent of a dodgy car dealer nowadays!
I do love the details about the different parts of London in your books. I've learnt so much about what life was like at that time for the ordinary people, as well as the upper classes, from reading them.

cs harris said...

Suzanne, well, that's good to hear! Thanks for letting me know. How odd that they came out together.

Susan, yes, she did mention it in more than those two books. I've never heard of 'Georgette Heyer's World' ; is it a blog, website, or book?

Susan J. said...

It's a really good book but I entered it wrongly in my comment! It's actually 'Georgette Heyer's Regency World' by Jennifer Kloester. Published by Arrow books, the same company to have re-published Heyer's books in tastefully designed paperbacks. The blurb on the cover describes it as "The definitive guide to the people, places and society in Georgette Heyer's Regency novels'. It is actually a result of Kloester's research for her Ph.D thesis concerning Heyer's work. It's a lovely book to read, packed full of information and illustrations depicting life in Regency England, with reference to things mentioned in Heyer's books. Kloester says she ended up shocked to find out just how faultless Heyer was in her research, long before the days of Google!

cs harris said...

Susan, thank you; I'll have to order it.

Susan J. said...

I was just browsing through Jennnifer Kloester's book and noticed that Richard Tattersall was also one of a group of twelve businessmen who established the 'Morning Post' with a view to getting cheaper advertising for their businesses. It began as a political paper, which the Regent paid off to stop it talking about Mrs Fitzherbert, but later became an entertaining paper in which the upper classes advertised their weddings etc.

cs harris said...

Susan, I did not know that! I've ordered her book and am looking forward to reading it.

Susan J. said...

I think you will enjoy it!

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